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/ 04 Aug 2022

Debt recovery: do I need to instruct a solicitor to enforce a debt I am owed?

Instructing a solicitor is a sensible action to take when seeking to recover debt owed to you, though whether or not you need one is understandably, a question that people and businesses ask themselves when the issue of debt recovery rears its head.

It is of course not mandatory for solicitors to be instructed. Litigants in person can and frequently do represent themselves in court proceedings in a myriad of legal disputes, including debt recovery.  However, we suggest (and full and frank disclosure, we are a firm of solicitors) that instructing a solicitor is a sensible action to take when seeking to assess the best way to recover monies owed to you.

Abeer Sharma

Associate

Property Litigation & Dispute Resolution

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How can a solicitor help me with debt recovery?

 

We understand the debt recovery legal process:

The majority of individuals and businesses do not find themselves in court. For the unlucky ones, unfamiliarity with the litigation process can be daunting. This is where a Solicitor can assist. Our debt recovery team know the process as we have been there several times before. We understand what is required at every stage and what to expect from our past experience.

Litigation is rarely a pleasant experience and does not always make a lot of sense to the lay person. Debtors need to be aware for example that different pre-action protocols apply for debt recovery in relation to B2B (business to business) contracts and B2C (business to consumer) contracts. Get this wrong and issues may arise, causing added stress and costs as a result. This can be avoided by instructing a solicitor to guide you through the process.

What happens if my debt recovery request is ignored?

 

We can add legal force to your claim:

When clients come to us, it is frequently on the basis that they have taken initial steps to recover a debt themselves but found that the other side has ignored them completely or engaged very little. Instructing a solicitor to recover and enforce your debt is a clear sign to the other side that you mean business and are willing to do what it takes to recover the debt owed to you. It is remarkable how the impact of a solicitor’s letter can result in a debt situation turning 180 degrees very quickly and lead to quick settlement of the debt shortly thereafter.

How can a solicitor assist with the ‘Particulars of Claim’?

 

We can assist with the technicalities:

We have already touched upon the different protocols for different debt claims. If you are at a point where proceedings need to be issued, the court will expect you to flesh out in what is known as the ‘Particulars of Claim’, the basis on which you have an actionable debt claim in the first place. There is also the sometimes awkward process of calculating applicable interest on the capital sum you are looking to recover. There may be one in the contract already if a provision exists, but what to do if there is nothing? This is where instructing a solicitor pays dividends – we know how to particularise claims, apply default interest provisions and accurately calculate the value of claims. When highly significant parts of the litigation process such as Disclosure and Witness Statements arise further down the line, we can ensure all obligations to the court are fulfilled without undue stress being caused to you.

How can a solicitor assist with the enforcement options for debt recover?

 

We will consider the enforcement options from the outset:

Whilst obtaining judgment is something to be pleased about, enforcing the piece of paper stating that is altogether a different matter.

You have had your day in court and won. Congratulations! The court order comes through confirming that the other side has to pay x amount within y days (usually 14). Yet on day 15, you have yet to see a penny of your hard-earned victory. What do you do now?

Well, a good debt recovery solicitor will have already forewarned you that this may happen and discussed potential enforcement options at an earlier stage of the proceedings, perhaps even in the first meeting. Rather than panic at this point, instructing a solicitor will mean that you are aware of the best enforcement options available – whether via bailiffs, bankruptcy, company insolvency, a charging order, a third party debt order, or another alternative- and continue to finish the process until you have successfully recovered the debt owed to you.

How can Hanne & Co help you recover debt?

At Hanne & Co we are highly experienced in debt related matters and know all the right procedures and protocols to follow. We go the extra mile to assess the problem at hand and advise you from a long-term, commercial perspective. We loathe to see you throw good money after bad and should we genuinely judge your prospects of recovery worthwhile, we will seek to not only obtain court judgment, but take suitable steps to enforce that judgment and realise what is owed to you.

Whether you contact us about a single debt matter or have a book of debts you would like us to tackle on your behalf, we will be delighted to assist you. We are experienced in utilising the vast array of available enforcement options, from bailiffs and third-party debt orders to statutory demands, winding up petitions and charging orders.

We can discuss suitable fee options for our work including fixed-fees, hourly rates and on certain occasions, Conditional Fee Agreements.

 

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Contact our dispute resolution team today with any debt recovery queries.

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